I am very excited to share with my sister stepmoms an excerpt from Erin Walter’s book “Her Words” – A Second Wives Roadmap to Inspired Wealth. Erin’s book is due out this fall – make sure you put in on your reading list!
Avoiding Financial Pitfalls as a Second Wife!
Excerpt taken from “Her Words” – A Second Wives Roadmap to Inspired Wealth
By Erin Walter (©E.M Walter)
Available Fall 2009
“An exciting and major corporate acquisition has just occurred. As the CEO of the company you are going on a business trip to ultimately garner details to improve the company’s bottom line. You are well known in your role and considered a pioneer in your role as CEO. There are new corporate policies that need to be put into place but there is one adversary you have to deal with. Part of this new take-over includes “keeping on board” this adversary. You need a strategy to deal with this adversary to improve the company’s bottom line.
The acquisition that I am talking about is entering in the business of “re-marriage” as a second wife or stepmom. Without a doubt, this trip you are endeavoring upon is the journey of living a life with success as a stepmom and second wife. And that is your bottom line. The adversary that you are dealing with is his ex-wife. As a pioneering CEO, you make choices for the bottom line that do not always sit well with the business adversary, his ex-wife. So what should you do?
Common sense would tell us that when we go into business with someone else, we make sure that our assets are protected and our best interests guarded from the start. A second marriage is no different. Our men have prior financial obligations to ex-wives and children from their first marriages. And the old added cliché “Love is Blind” rings true, causing some common financial mistakes second wives make.
There are three foundational second wife “business models” as a stepmom and/or a second wife should consider modeling to help her family “business” prosper, and they are re-organize, remember and resist before applying the practical “hands on” business applications.
“A policy is a temporary creed liable to be changed, but while it holds good it has got to be pursued with apostolic zeal.” Mohandas Gandhi
Business Model #1:
When you get discouraged; re-organize your life. Author, Rick Warren writes, “When you are disheartened, it does not necessarily mean you’re doing the wrong thing; you can be doing the right thing in the wrong way.”
There is also a business model that I like, called the 80/20 Rule. 80 per cent of time spent is on the wrong activities while only 20 per cent is accomplishing the goal. Business managers call this ROI time – “return on investment.” What this really means is the maximum time on those few things that produce the greatest results. Don’t give up on your goals, devise a new approach. There are many returns to calculate investing in ones “self worth” vs. net worth. It will make all the difference to have influence as CEO of your family “business” and will support your bottom line.
“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.” Nelson Mandela
I think you would agree that it’s your “self worth” that really counts in the end, not your net worth; although it is important to protect this too. The ROI investing in your self worth does not come close to the best days in history on the DOW.
Business Model #2:
Remember! You are the CEO of your family “business” and the role you serve. Remember your brand as the CEO. When you think of a corporate brand like Nike, the phrase “Just do it” comes to mind. Remember, like a powerful brand; you have control of the market share that determines shareholders interest. Because your brand is good and strong turns around a phenomenal profit as others choose to invest in your priceless value. Remember too, no matter what, a successful CEO can only assist an organization to prosper by doing the right thing, not matter what! The ‘right thing’ is not always the easiest thing, but it’s always paramount and creates incalculable value that will attract prized shareholders.
Remember to create a “success wealth statement” that you cling to like your life depends on it to keep you doing the ‘right thing’ for your “business’s” bottom line. This is your brand. A success wealth statement keeps you on track for the benefit of your worth. I often recite to myself, “I am willing to live MY life and OWN it.” This statement, like a bank statement too, has increasing value. It means so much to me to have a record of this statement handy. I write it down everywhere. It helps me remember how to track my life fully and abundant as a stepmom and second wife with self worth. I know what and where to invest my self worth. Without my wealth success statement, I am like a log that floats pointlessly in water subject to befall prey at the usually ex’s expense. And it is too costly for any stepmom/second wife to incur. Remember you are a valuable commodity within your unique blended family situation and usually in a market downturn; (like life challenges sent to you from your silent business partner; the ex-wife!) commodities are valued higher in a down market. Remember, he is with you now; and that is has added to the retained earnings on the family “business” asset listing report more than you will ever know.
Business Model #3:
RESIST. Resist the need to reform others. Instead, reform yourself first. I really like some great quotes that Ghandi stated and I think this is the best of all, “We must become the change we want to see in the world. “
No one likes bad debt. Resist compromising your corporate policies when under pressure. You will invest in the wrong things. Re-organize them as stated in #1 from time to time and resist false pride and self-veneration and keep your mission in view. It only creates bad debt if you don’t.
I know that all human beings are liable to make mistakes. If someone commits a mistake, forgive and forget. RESIST negative power that will delude your corporate policies to live abundantly as a stepmom and wife to avoid bad debt in your families “business” balance sheet.
Now, here also a few more of several practical “hands on” applications for second wives to put to use to avoid further financial pitfalls:
1) Having a joint bank account with your husband
If your husbands’ ex-wife ever took him back to court for more child support you’re letting the cat out of the bag of how much you make combined. Even though, your income cannot be used for child support, calculations you leave yourself exposed to an opinion of what he can really afford!
2) Wills are not updated
Here is an example: Sadly, last night your husband passed away and his will was not updated. His ex-wife is making financial claims against his estate for child support or education costs. Mitigate these risks for unpaid child support with term insurance too until the kids are of age.
3) Inadequate Insurance Coverage
Since 2007 Manulife (Canada) paid out 65% of critical illness claims for cancer. The average age critical illness claims were paid for women; was 47 years old. What if you became critically ill, would your husband be able to afford to take time off work to take you to medical appointments? He already has financial obligations to ex-wives and their children of their first marriages. Would your loss of income have an effect on your blended family situation? Consider in addition to your employee benefits, critical illness, disability and long term care insurance.”
For more savvy and successful strategies to protect your financial wellbeing as a stepmom or second wife go to www.beprotected.biz or email firstname.lastname@example.org
©E.M Walter Copy written 2009
Disclaimer: This excerpt from the book “Her Words” and in part, is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subject of personal finances for stepmoms and second wives. As a precaution, each individual situation should be addressed to an appropriate professional to ensure adequate evaluation and planning is applied. The author specifically disclaims any liability, loss, or risk that may be incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any contents of this work. The material in this writing is intended as a general source of information.
A very special thank you to Erin Walter for granting me permission to post this excerpt on The Stepmom’s Tool Box!